For the Love of Simplicity

Smooth lines. Clean surfaces. Rooms filled with air, not stuff.

Streamlining life can be so lovely.

“Simplicity is what I want in 2014,” my friend told me. But, she admitted, in our complicated world filled with data and distraction, it’s not that simple to obtain.

I couldn’t agree more.

It takes discipline to keep things simple. We tend to pile on activities, information, relationships and more stuff than we need. Whether we are at the grocery store or online, we fill our lives with noise.

Fighting against the daily cacophony is harder than giving in to all the influences that tumble through our every day lives. Media messages on the sides of streetcars, advertising on TV, 10-second videos before we can listen to our favorite songs online all add up – it is no wonder we have a hard time falling asleep at night.

If you find yourself stuck in a complicated situation, take heart. Marathons are only won stride by stride. The same applies to life changes. Baby steps are a very good start.

Moving helps. Faced with either schlepping all our junk to a new place or getting rid of half of it, we are called to question what’s truly important to us. When I moved last spring, I made a commitment to simplicity. If I didn’t love the item I was about to pack, I would give it a toss or give it away. I got rid of more than half my belongings.

To maintain that commitment, everything that enters my home now is subject to severe scrutiny. In fact, it doesn’t even enter my shopping cart unless I absolutely love it or need it. Champagne and roses are my only exception. And I do love them!

Simplicity requires innovative thinking. It means to do without certain things we once thought were imperative. My friend tells me I need more kitchen items, but truth be told I can cook a delicious meal without all the things I once had. Sure, a smaller frying pan would be great, and probably more economical. I’ll get to it in good time.

If you think about it, do you really need all the things that surround you? If I were to take a closer look, I could probably pare down my household items by another third.

Simplicity doesn’t mean austerity. ┬áIt means living with more flow.

Take the first step by eliminating three things from the drawer closest to you. Add to the pile each day from various spaces in your home for a week. Then look at all the items you once thought you required.

It feels good to free up space, physically, mentally and emotionally to make room for what really matters.

And what truly matters can only enter your life if you clear away the clutter first.

Want to take the simplicity challenge? I’m with you – every step of the way.


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